>We have previously supported construction of the bypass, and still do. >It is a sound plan, with the federal government providing the $70 >million needed to construct the two-lane road. There are no assurances >that a tight-fisted Congress would support the alternative tunnel >proposal.This statement surprises me. With the research facilities available to the Chronicle, I wouldn't expect to see so many factually incorrect statements in a single paragraph.
"a sound plan" is a subjective claim, but I have to wonder whether you've read over the project plan. I have, and I'm willing to deliver a copy to you at your convenience.
"$70 million" is an incorrect amount by anyone's reckoning. Caltrans' latest public statement on the matter had the amount at over $90 million. The following quote from the CPR1 newsletter provides details:
>According to figures released by Caltrans in documents and public >statements over the last 6 months, the current official cost of >the proposed bypass has reached $91.3 Million. The breakdown: >Construction: $69,030,000 >Design: 3,451,500 >Construction Engineering: 10,354,500 >Mitigation: 5,000,000 + >Right-Of-Way Purchase: 3,500,000 >Total: $91,336,000 +"the federal government providing" suggests that the full amount is committed. Quite the contrary. Representative Tom Lantos pushed emergency funding through Congress in 1984 to the tune of $50 million. No additional funding has been committed. Even so, Mr. Lantos has offered to do what's necessary to reallocate the funding should a tunnel prove out to be the smart choice.
"two lane road" is somewhat euphemistic. The initial plan in the mid-sixties called for a six-lane freeway all the way south to Point Conception. Every county to the south rejected the plan outright. The San Mateo county Local Coastal Plan mandates that rural sections of Highway 1 remain as two lane road, so Caltrans eventually scaled back the roadway plans. Even then, the California Coastal Commission's staff report (in 1986) clearly identified that Caltrans' plans for continuous uphill climbing lanes and runaway vehicle recovery lanes was essentially a four lane road. Caltrans made additional adjustments to get past the staff complaints.
Even so, one essential fact belies the "two lane road" assertion. In all of the "scaling back" that Caltrans has done, the size of the cuts and fills have never been reduced. Compare the current project plan to the original 1965 drawings. The cuts and fills are the same -- wide enough to handle a six-lane freeway.
A great deal of information (backed by scanned original documents when possible) is online at http://www.montara.com/. You may discover there's more to the story.